Saturday, December 14, 2013

Waste not...

Grandma grew up in the depression era. Half of her siblings did not live to see adulthood. Her mother died while she was still young. Life was hard.

So hard that she didn't want to remember, didn't want to share. She didnt like antiques, they reminded her of old times, hard times. 

Even though grandma didn't share much about the old days, I learned some of her tricks for getting by. For one thing, nothing goes to waste. 

I buy chicken thighs to feed my family. The price is right and it's really easy to get all the meat off the bones. The bones and skin go back into the pot to make broth. After the broth is chilled it's easy to lift virtually all the fat right off the top.

What do you do with that chicken fat? Into the trash? Heck no!

Sometimes I will mix a few spoons of chicken fat into dog food for our puppies. But this week, while I was pulling chicken meat off the bones, I found myself thinking about gram. I often think of her when I am working in the kitchen. I had my hands all chicken-y, thinking of gram and a little secret she shared with me a long time ago. 

Shhhhh...chicken fat makes really soft and delicious cookies. 

Here is the secret: You can replace half the fat in your cookie recipe with chicken fat. 

(Maybe you already know this, but I prefer to think of my grammy's wisdom as mystical and rare.)

After I lift the fat off the broth, I put it into a clean pot, add water and boil to remove any leftover particles. Chill it again, lift the fat off the water and keep in the fridge until you are ready to bake. 

My kids thought for sure that our chicken fat sugar cookies were going to be gross, but they are begging for more! 

Have you tried this before? If not, I dare you. This is the perfect time of year to try a new thing with cookies.